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Thread: Roanoke "Music for Americans" Independence Day festival

  1. #1
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    Roanoke "Music for Americans" Independence Day festival

    Every year, the City of Roanoke partners with the Roanoke Times to operate an Independence Day festival in Rivers Edge Park. I attended last year's festival with my wife and daughters, while openly carrying my pistol. Shortly after we arrived, I was confronted by three on-duty Roanoke police officers who ran me out of the park, threatening to arrest me for trespassing if I did not leave. I opted to comply with their demand and follow up afterward.

    The officers claimed that the park had been rented by the Roanoke Times, and that the festival and its "no firearms" rule had nothing to do with the City of Roanoke. This was only partly true. According to records I received in response to a FOIA request, the park was rented to the Roanoke Times, but it and the City had a contract to operate the festival as a joint enterprise, with the two parties sharing the costs. According to these records, the City spent $5,787.47 on the 2010 festival, and wrote down the park rental from $8,800.00 under the standard rates to just $1.00. Between the writeoff and the actual expenditures, the City put $14,587.47 toward the festival, not including the salaries of the numerous public employees I saw working at the event. It can hardly be said that the festival had nothing to do with the City of Roanoke.

    The legality of the prohibition is therefore highly questionable. It's clear that if the festival were operated solely by the City of Roanoke, the prohibition would be preempted. It's also pretty clear that if the festival were operated solely by a private entity on property they had lawfully rented, the prohibition would be valid. But for a joint public/private enterprise, which rule applies?

    I've been probing at that question for a while, filing complaints and additional FOIA requests with the City, and I was pleased to find that for this year's festival, the prohibition has been lifted. The web page for last year's festival included "firearms" on the list of things not allowed. The word has been removed from the list on the page for this year.

    Of course, there's only one way to be sure that the prohibition is no longer in effect. I'll be taking my girls to the "Family Fun Zone" area as soon as it opens, with my pistol in plain view. If you can make it, I'd love to see you there too.

  2. #2
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Good Job TD!
    As you are especially aware, getting those ignorant bastards in the Roanoke PD to understand that Virginia law applies to them...is a monumental task.
    Last edited by peter nap; 07-01-2011 at 10:19 AM.

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    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    i think it has been explained to me that the Roanoke times is a flaming anti-rights paper . i wonder what they would think if someone attacked their first amendment rights

    good job if you got this stupid thing changed.
    Luke 22:36 ; 36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

    "guns are like a Parachute, if you don't have one when you need it, you will not need one again"
    - unknown

    i you call a CHP a CCW then you are really stupid. period.

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    Quote Originally Posted by papa bear View Post
    i think it has been explained to me that the Roanoke times is a flaming anti-rights paper.
    See for yourself... this is from a couple years ago. The Concealed Carry list has since been removed.... but it illustrates their 'affection' for the lawful owners of firearms.

    http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/trejbal/wb/108160

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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    This is a win-win. You'll have fun and if you're lucky, get some tax money from the City to boot!

    Any way to drag last year's incident up and file a suit?
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Any way to drag last year's incident up and file a suit?
    That's theoretically possible; the statute of limitations runs two years on such things. However, given my experience with that kind of suit, I don't think filing over this incident would be the most efficient use of my limited resources. I do intend to keep a close watch on this festival, because the City has gone back and forth on its firearms policy a few times now.

    Anyhow, for my after-action report, the whole thing turned out to be a wash. Mid-afternoon on the 4th, Roanoke got hit by a sudden microburst, with flash rains and strong winds gusting up to 75mph. It died down as quickly as it came, but by the time we made it out to the Family Fun Zone, they'd pretty much shut everything down. I can't blame them for taking down the inflatable moon bounce given the wind conditions, but it was the part my daughter was most looking forward to, and she was disappointed. We ended up playing on the playground for a little while, then went back home.

    There were very few people there, and I didn't interact with any security types until I passed by a gaggle of police officers partly blocking the sidewalk on our way out. They politely made way for our stroller, and none of them said a word to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by papa bear View Post
    i think it has been explained to me that the Roanoke times is a flaming anti-rights paper . i wonder what they would think if someone attacked their first amendment rights
    It's funny that you should mention it, because the other substantive change I noticed was the deletion of a rule prohibiting public speaking and the distribution of literature. I did not bring that rule to the City's attention; I suppose they suddenly remembered the First Amendment on their own.

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    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tosta Dojen View Post
    It's funny that you should mention it, because the other substantive change I noticed was the deletion of a rule prohibiting public speaking and the distribution of literature. I did not bring that rule to the City's attention; I suppose they suddenly remembered the First Amendment on their own.
    good to hear the change!
    Actually, I've noticed these are the two first amendment restrictions that the progressives like. people speaking their mind,and disagreeing we us, the ones who know more than they do . sarcasm
    Luke 22:36 ; 36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

    "guns are like a Parachute, if you don't have one when you need it, you will not need one again"
    - unknown

    i you call a CHP a CCW then you are really stupid. period.

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